“And when’s the last time YOU’VE stabbed a corpse?”

(No, the title is not a Buffy reference.)
I was feeling cooped up today so I took an excursion down to The Block to get some recreation. I figured if nothing else I could at least get a bit of walking in. I noticed that the film Gosford Park was playing, and it intrigued me. The funny thing is, The Block is a pretty mainstream theater, a massive 30 screen giant, and yet AMC still charges reasonable prices and, in fact, often screens films that, while not fringe independents, are at least less mainstream than others. Gosford Park is certainly not mainstream.

We begin in a rain storm, and the first person we see makes me go “Hey, Its That Guy!” (well, actually, girl) from Trainspotting. Turns out that the movie is basically a cross between Clue and…oh…I dunno…Titanic or something. We’ve got the old rich folks, the new-money rich folks, the folks who are leeches off of the old-money folks, and some folks that are just plain without money. Next we’ve got a bunch of serving staff, the butler, maids, cooks, valets, lady servants, etc. Each of them has a past and a story as well. The first hour is devoted soley to exploring these characters, and, amazingly, by the end of it I feel like I pretty much know all three dozen of them.

The surface appearances of everyone at the party are not as they seem, in fact many people — both guests and waitstaff — have secrets that they’d rather remain buried. These secrets become less hidden when the lord of the manor is abruptly removed from the land of the living. This is when it gets interesting, as various plot lines are merged together artfully in a strange and tangled web of relationships and crossed blood lines.

We are left with a conclusion that is not at all satisfying (nor, I expect, was it meant to be) but which reveals the mysteries of the past, shows a society content with brushing them aside, and returns everyone safely to their homes. What a strange world we live in.